MF2006: Monome


The people from the Monome project are out in full force at the Faire. They’ve got five of the 8×8 pads hooked up for people to play with. The first two pictured above actually work together as a 16 step loop system. There’s also one hooked up as a mixer and another as a drum machine. The fifth one is showing pixelated video from an iSight. The box is really well built. The $500 price point has shocked a lot of people, but it’s really unavoidable since they’re only doing a 200 device run. Something I hadn’t realized before is that the buttons are unique to the device, not off the shelf parts. The button is really a rubber cap that sits over the LED and has a conductive ring at the base. I hope they post a schematic for their 8×8 matrix controller so that anyone could build one. Here are a few more pictures: one, two, three.

24 thoughts on “MF2006: Monome

  1. >The $500 price point has shocked a lot of
    >people, but it’s really unavoidable since they
    >’re only doing a 200 device run.

    lol NO! $500 is a bloody ripoff, material costs them ~$100, the rest is profit

  2. >The $500 price point has shocked a lot of
    >people, but it’s really unavoidable since they
    >’re only doing a 200 device run.

    lol NO! $500 is a bloody ripoff, material costs them ~$100, the rest is profit

  3. Profit? If those are really custom buttons and the case a custom plastic mold (is it plastic?) I doubt their numbers are far off. 12,800 buttons is a _REALLY_ short run for injection molding, with die costs in the thousands usually even for small parts. A custom contact memmbrane isn’t so great cost wise, either. Now, toss in the custom costs of a case of only 200 per die, and I wouldn’t doubt at the very least 60% of the costs for these are tied up in dies that may never be used again.

  4. It’s an iBook in the photo above but in the photo on the page itself it’s a powerbook g4 too, I thought it was that he was talking about

  5. >And uh, what could one do with this?

    not much, press buttons and look at lights under them :]
    This is basically a 16×16 USB keypad with backlight (smart one), not worth >$100, not to even mention $500

  6. As for the laptops, in the pic above it’s an iBook. In the linkes picture a Titanium PowerBook G4 (TiBook) is shown.

  7. you’ve mentioned it: it’s a lighting keyboard sending midi-data on an usb connection. simple one. But the most interesting part (since it’s such an easy piece of tech) is: has anyone a ikea-like description to do a rebuild??? And is it possible to make a rebuild responsing on the same software here: ?

    http://monome.org/index.php?m=resource

    I’m far from any knowledge on hardware stuff but so eager to do a rebuild

  8. If you want to try to DIY this, get the cheapest possible switch interface that has 100+ inputs – a keyboard controller. Find any old keyboard and rip it apart, then simply solder your switches directly to the circuit. This will cost $0 to $8 (for a cheap new keyboard). Repeat settings, etc can be controlled in software. As a bonus, it also has 3 outputs (Scroll lock, key lock and num lock). As for the leds, 35 line output led drivers can be had for around US$2.80 each. One of these with line scanning can easily drive an 8×8 matrix (in fact one can drive up to a 16×16 matrix). Do a search for M5451.

  9. actually a keyboard doesnt work as it locks up after say 6 keypresses at the same time.. you want to be able to play with the full 10 fingers.. but at http://www.ucapps.de we are working on a monome clone.. however its completely diy.. also if you want something a bit cheaper.. you can go for the c64 controller we are developing.. also completely diy.. check it out..

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